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San Diego Personal Injury Law Blog

Preventing healthcare-acquired infections

Pneumonia, urinary tract infections, blood stream diseases: These are all conditions that can drive people to a healthcare facility for treatment. Unfortunately, too many people in California and across the country will actually contract these infections from simply spending time in the facility for an unrelated condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 25 patients will experience a healthcare-associated disease, which includes a surgical site infection, leading to a worsened medical condition and additional treatment.

There are steps at the national, state and even individual level that can prevent this from happening. According to the Committed to Reduce Infection Deaths, patients can do the following to reduce the odds of contracting an illness while in the hospital:

Defining and eliminating distracted driving in California

Many drivers in California are probably aware of the campaigns aimed to reduce cell phone use while driving. The state actually defines the behavior as anything that could take a motorist’s eyes off the road. That includes texting, talking on the phone, eating, programming a GPS, reading maps or grooming.

According to Distraction.gov, California has embraced several laws in order to avoid fatal automobile accidents, including the following:

Jury awards $8.45 million to family of child with cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a serious condition that can stem from complications that happen during birth. Physicians in California can help prevent the issue by ensuring that the baby does not experience a lack of oxygen. Monitoring the mother and the baby during labor and delivery is a key part of spotting a potential problem and taking the steps to correct it. As one recent incident illustrates, failing to do so have serious consequences.

In Georgia, there is a 5-year-old boy who cannot walk or talk. He suffers from disfigurement and developmental delays, and he has to eat through a feeding tube in his stomach. According to his family’s attorneys, the boy’s condition is a direct result of cerebral palsy, which developed during his birth.

Factoring insurance into dog bite claims

A dog attack can result in physical trauma that, in addition to causing emotional distress, can also create large medical bills for California victims. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that for every five instances, one dog bite will result in a serious injury that merits medical attention. What’s more, roughly half of dog attack victims are children.

When something like this occurs, victims may often hold the dog owner responsible for the costs of medical care. When it comes to paying the bills, it is often a homeowner’s insurance policy that foots the bill. The Insurance Information Institute reports that dog bites cost $483 million in 2013, which accounted for more than 33 percent of all homeowners’ insurance claims.

What is considered medical malpractice?

When a physician or medical professional fails to provide a patient with the standard health care treatment, it is considered medical malpractice here in California and across the country. According to a study Johns Hopkins Medicine conducted last year, failure to diagnose and other diagnostic errors are the most common reason patients file lawsuits. A diagnostic mistake can also encompass a delayed diagnosis or an incorrect one.

There are many other types of malpractice that can occur, such as the following:

California legislature gives more protection to bicyclists

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 124 Californians lost their lives in fatal bicycle accidents in 2012, accounting for 4.3 percent of all traffic deaths. The agency recommends several ways that cyclists can remain safe, such as riding in numbers, wearing a helmet and obeying traffic laws.

Simply going for a walk can put you at risk in California

It seems innocent enough: You are looking for some exercise or an economical way to get to work, so you decide to go by foot. At Nield Law Group, APC, we have seen too many cases in which a pedestrian is seriously injured – or worse – as a result of a car crash. It is important for victims or the deceased’s survivors to know their rights following an incident.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 76,000 people were injured in a pedestrian knockdown in 2012, and nearly more than 4,700 were killed. In California, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that more than 560 people were killed as a result of such an event.

Should I file a personal injury claim?

If you have suffered a serious injury or illness as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is important to understand the rules governing the process. For example, according to The Judicial Branch of California, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury. If you were not aware of the injury immediately, you have just one year to file a claim from the time the condition was discovered.

On top of rules regarding statutes of limitations, you should do a little homework to determine whether or not you have a case. In general, personal injury lawsuits are used after someone suffers a significant injury or illness with serious consequences and expenses. For example, if you were hospitalized after a car crash and may have long-term side effects, it is likely worth consulting with an attorney. However, if the car crash is merely a fender-bender, it may not be worth your time to pursue a claim. An attorney is best-suited to look over the details of your case with you to determine if it has merit.

Diagnostic errors dominate medical malpractice claims

According to the Journal of Patient Safety, between 210,000 and 400,000 people die every year because of a medical mistake. Based on these numbers, the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that medical negligence has become the third leading cause of death in the country. The reason for the range in numbers is that limitations in medical records make the exact cause hard to track.

What is not disputable is the leading factor behind medical malpractice lawsuits: diagnostic errors. A diagnostic error could mean:

Wrong-way driver crashes into cyclists, paralyzing La Jolla man

Many cyclists in San Diego may be seen riding in a pack along the city’s roads. Training with a group is a great way for people to reach their fitness goals, as it provides motivation, camaraderie and support. Unfortunately, riding with the group does not guarantee protection from a hit-and-run accident or other run-in with an irresponsible driver. As one cyclist has learned, serious injuries can result from such an experience.

In the middle of August, a La Jolla man was finishing up his ride with roughly 30 other cyclists. The pack was on Fiesta Island when a 49-year-old woman drove the wrong way and crashed into the group. The man, who is a husband and a father, pushed another rider out of the way and suffered much of the impact. He is now paralyzed from the chest down. Several others in the group were also sent to the hospital with injuries.

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